'The Doctor Told Me, Sir, You're a Junkie': The Opioid Epidemic Hits Israel

One in 10 Israelis is at risk of becoming addicted to painkillers. The Health Ministry set up a task force to consider regulation of opioids three years ago – but it has yet to take action. The Shomrim media nonprofit reveals the panel's protocols

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An illustration of a doctor typing while people sit in pill bottles in front of him
'I found myself completely enslaved, and the dosages kept get bigger and bigger.'

To an outside observer, Udi Margalit would have appeared to be living a wonderful life. Although he was wounded during his service in the Israel Defense Forces in the 1970s and developed a dependence on painkillers during his recovery, he managed to pull himself together and kick the habit. He studied accounting, opened a successful business and raised four children. Five years ago, when he was in his mid-60s, everything changed.